A packed fringe event at Liberal Democrat Conference today (14 September) urged the party leadership to deliver on nuclear disarmament by rejecting Trident replacement.
Delegates at the meeting strongly condemned the idea of a scaled-down Trident (which is being proposed in a motion at this year’s conference) and called for a policy of scrapping nuclear weapons altogether.
Concerns were raised that adopting 'Trident-lite' as a policy would mean compromising a principled position, purely to ease future coalition negotiations.
Support is growing for an amendment which states that ‘Britain should cancel the Successor programme and eliminate entirely the UK’s nuclear deterrent’.
Recent polling has shown that 58 per cent of Lib Dem members want to scrap Britain’s nuclear weapons: while as few as 26 per cent support the leadership position of a reduced system with fewer submarines.
CND’s Kate Hudson, who was on the panel at the event, said: "This was a hugely encouraging event and showed the strength of feeling amongst ordinary Lib Dem members against Trident replacement. The message to the Lib Dem leadership was clear: don’t compromise on Trident."
"The Lib Dems should be standing firm on these principles, which are in line with a majority of the British public - who would rather see £100bn spent on health, education and green energy, than an outdated weapons system."
She conncluded:"‘From a Scrap Trident rally held outside the conference, to passionate speeches within, Lib Dem members are making their voices on the UK’s nuclear weapons heard: scrap them now."
The iIberal Democrat Conference is taking place in Glasgow from 14 to 18 September.